Website design decisions should always be made with your users in mind. The success of your website depends entirely on how effective it is at converting your
visitors and generating new leads and sales for your business.
Luckily, the Internet has been around for a long time now, and there is a tremendous amount of information and data out there about what works best when it comes to web design.
The following ten-point checklist covers the vital elements every business website should include.
1. Descriptive Headline on the Homepage
When a visitor lands on your website, they immediately want to see that they will find what they are looking for. A descriptive headline helps to reassure visitors they are in the right place.
Write a clear, descriptive headline that communicates what you do, and place it above the fold and high on your homepage. It’s also an opportunity to include a
target keyword to inform search engines what your website is about.
2. Use Images with Real People
Big and small brands benefit from appearing more human to their customers. Images of people are a powerful web design tactic for attracting attention, increasing conversion rates, and lending a personal feel to your website.
Basecamp, the project management tool, reported a 102.5% rise in conversions when they included images of their customer’s faces alongside testimonials on their sales page.
3. Communicate Your Value Proposition
According to Magicdust, an experienced Melbourne website design company, your value proposition is one of the most important elements of your web design and business strategy.
It’s the reason why somebody should choose to purchase from you instead of one of your competitors.
An excellent value proposition highlights clear value and shows how your product or service solves a prospect's pain point or helps them to achieve a goal.
You should communicate your value proposition to your website visitors within seconds of them landing on your homepage. If you don’t have a clear and prominent value proposition, you’re failing to provide a reason for people to purchase from you and losing out on sales.
4. Add Social Proof
Human beings are social creatures. If we see lots of other people doing something, we tend to join in. In terms of web design, by providing evidence on your website that other people have chosen to work with you, it increases the chances of people seeing your company as a good choice. Research shows that 88% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
Include testimonials and reviews from your existing customers and place them on your homepage, product pages, and landing pages. Don’t hide them away on a testimonials page that will receive minimal traffic.
5. Avoid Clutter and Distractions
Web design is at it’s best when it’s simple and purposeful. The more choices that you provide people with, the more difficult it is for them to choose anything.
In terms of ecommerce, if you sell lots of different products, you need to provide great categorization and filters to help people narrow down choices to find the
products they are interested in.
For the web design of your pages, aim for simplicity over a busy and cluttered design. Every web design element should serve a purpose on the page. If you
provide multiple options and elements that compete for a user’s attention, the more likely they are to get distracted and choose nothing.
The closer that you get to closing a sale, the more white space and fewer elements you want to include on the page. When a user makes it through to your checkout, every web design elements should serve the conversion. Everything else should be removed.
6. Incorporate a Sense of Urgency
Urgency can be a catalyst for conversion when it is utilised effectively. You can incorporate urgency into your web design in three ways:
Limited stock - Display the amount of stock you have left for a particular product;
“Only 3 items remaining!”
Time limits - Run a limited time discount offer; “1 hour 50% crash sale on selected
External urgency - Use outside urgency factors to encourage conversion; “Have you
got a mother’s day gift yet?”
Urgency can be a powerful conversion booster, but it has to be believed by your website visitors. If you are running time-limited sales every hour of every day, it
doesn’t make an impact on visitors, and you lose credibility
7. Sensible Linking
Just as you should remove distractions as your visitors get closer to completing a purchase, you should avoid placing links from your product pages and sales pages to your blog posts.
Sales pages and product pages are much closer to conversion than blog posts. By placing links on your product pages, you create a distraction that takes users away from the conversion.
The same goes for external linking. Does the link serve the purpose of the page and encourage users to convert?
If it links to a blog port or external website, the chances are that it doesn't.
8. Descriptive Navigation and Links
Navigation should be intuitive and easily accessible on every device, but it’s also an opportunity to engage your visitors.
When a user lands on a website, they typically scan across the top of the page. Your navigation links occupy prime real estate for attracting the attention of visitors.
You can leverage your navigation links by using descriptive keywords that communicate the value of the page and achieve significant search volume. If you
use generic navigation labels, your website is the same as thousands of others out there. If you use descriptive navigation labels, you can showcase your value and boost your SEO.
9. Don’t Use Carousels and Slideshows
Slideshows can increase the aesthetic appeal of your homepage and showcase your products and services. However, research shows that the majority of people will only look at the first couple of slides. The more slide you add, the less likely they will be seen and that the slide's CTA will be clicked.
Rather than a slideshow, create a stack of slides so each can be seen as the user scrolls the page.
10. Use Standard Web Design Layouts
People find simple and clear layouts more attractive than unusual and cluttered layouts.
You should aim to differentiate your brand from your competitors, but not with your layout. Be distinctive with your content and copy, but be regular with the layout of your webpages.
● Logo in the top left corner.
● Navigation at the top of the page.
● The search bar in the top right.
● Social links at the bottom of the page.
You should always aim to make your website aesthetically pleasing and attractive. But at its base level, web design is about helping people to find information on your website.
The easier you make it for people to locate what they are looking for, the more likely they are to engage with your website, and the more likely they are to convert and purchase your products and services.